Industry News

What to make of Hulu and Max’s popularity rankings and the battle over data transparency

19 September, 2023

Those familiar with the work of writer Nate Silver — author of the book “The Signal and the Noise” — may recognize the axiom that “data is useless without context.”

That mantra is certainly true from a statistician’s point of view, but perhaps not from that of a marketing executive or the designer of a streaming video service’s user interface. In recent weeks, Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max (formerly HBO Max) and Walt Disney Co.-controlled Hulu have added content rankings to their apps, with the aim of telling users what others on the platforms are watching, something Netflix has done for years.

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